Forbidden Alliance A Werewolf's Tale
Author:Danae Ayusso

That was interesting, painful, but interesting.

Unfortunately, it started raining ten minutes into the game, turning the field into a muddy mess. I don’t think the vampires were expecting the werewolves to be that agile on the slick grass; a misapprehension they quickly adjusted to correct.

After a quick shower, I changed back into my jeans and tee shirt and headed to the side exit.

“Miss Jay Dee, may I have a moment?” an all too familiar voice called out from behind me—his voice shouldn’t have been that damn familiar to me already.

That wasn’t good.

I waited under the awning, silently praying that I was completely insane and just hearing voices—being crazy would have been the lesser of two evils—and that I wasn’t being chased down by a vampire...by Tanis!

When I was no longer alone, I forced a smile; I wasn’t imagining things, wasn’t crazy, and obviously my prayers went unanswered.

“Are you still upset that I tackled you and forced a fumble?” I tried to tease.

“No, however, you certainly gave me something to think about,” Tanis said. “I underestimated you, something I shall not err in again.”

I nodded and smirked; it was an awesome hit.

Tanis pulled his hand through his damp hair, pushing it back. “Miss Jay Dee, the rain is not letting up, would you care for a ride to work?” he asked. “I am not hungry for lunch at the moment thus I have thirty-five free minutes,” he explained.

That’s nice of him, really nice…damn that accent is sexy and sophisticated.

I shook my head. “You don’t have to do that, it’s only two miles,” I assured him, but, by God, I so wanted to take him up on his offer.

“I insist,” he said.

“You’re not going to try to kill me or something are you?” I blurted out, and he didn’t find it amusing in the least. “Don’t worry about it. Thanks for the offer, Mr. Ashton.” I smiled and headed to the parking lot, and as my lack of luck would have it, a loud crack of thunder vibrated the ground and the rain started to fall even harder. It wasn’t the best day to forget my jacket in the car with Jarvis.

Damn it. At least my shirt isn’t white; that would be transparently embarrassing.

“Miss Jay Dee, do not be daft...ridiculous,” Tanis groaned and followed me. “You will catch a cold or get ill. Where is your jacket?” he scolded.

“You realize that you’re sounding very paternal right now, right?” I complained.

Just as I passed a white pearlescent Range Rover, the alarm deactivated and the lights flashed.

No way.

Of course he’d drive a vehicle that cost as much as a house. Wasn’t that what all vampires did?

“Get in the car,” he said, holding the passenger door open for me.

I stood there, trying to keep from eying him—he looked even hotter in the rain—so I turned my face towards the sky and allowed the rain to wash over me. Being a Pacific Northwest girl, the rain was usually a welcomed companion that always helped to clear my mind. When I was younger, I’d stand in the rain and envision that each cool drop caressing my skin was washing away my problems.

At the moment, it wasn’t helping and only made me cold, weighed my hair down and caused my clothes to cling to my skin.

If he tries anything, I can always rip his throat out. He appears harmless enough. His body is as soft as ours, and the blood flowing beneath his skin was a pleasant surprise—I’m thankful for the bloody nose and lip he got thanks to a cheap shot from Tosh on the sixth play. If you can bleed, you can die. I was curious whether vampires bled as we do.

“Miss Jay Dee, get in the bloody car,” he growled, cocking an eyebrow.

Damn that’s hot.

“Fine,” I mumbled under my breath and sulked over to the SUV to his amusement. When I stepped around him, I caught a whiff of his scent. It was even more mouthwatering then it was when we were playing football, but not in an I’m-gonna-eat-you sort of way. It was pleasantly clean and inviting. That was the only way I could describe it: clean like fresh cotton and lilacs, something slightly spicy, inviting manly musk and refinement…if refinement had a scent.

Softly he closed the door behind me so I made a face at him through the glass and he chuckled, his eyes sparkling with excitement.

“Where am I going?” Tanis asked, startling me; I hadn’t heard him join me. “I am sorry. Do you honestly think that I am going to kill you?” he asked, sounding appalled yet slightly amused at the same time.

“Huh? Oh no, I was kidding,” I said. “Head towards the main road and take a left; it’s about a mile and a half up.”

Tanis nodded and adjusted the heat but it wouldn’t be warm before I got to work. “Are you cold?” he asked, noting me rubbing my hands up and down my exposed arms in an attempt at creating heat from the friction while discretely trying to hide my boobs in case I was tit-bit-nipply. He didn’t wait for me to answer and shrugged out of his jacket before offering it to me. “You are soaked. Please put on the jacket,” he said before I could object.

I was freezing and it was pointless to argue with him. I discovered after the first five minutes in gym that Tanis was always right, in his mind, and he always had to have the last word. And since I didn’t want to start a fight with him over something as stupid as a damn jacket, I slid my arms into the ridiculously soft fabric to pacify him. Surprisingly, the jacket was warm and it smelled strongly of him—obviously he wasn’t an ice cube.

I’ll admit I liked it. A lot. A lot more than I should have but what could I have done?

“Thank you for not being difficult,” Tanis said.

“It’s pointless to argue with you, since you’re always right in your mind,” I mumbled and made a face causing him to chuckle. “Thanks for giving me a ride. You didn’t have to do that.”

“I do not have to do anything…however, I wanted to. Do you not have a car?” he asked, turning onto the main road.

“No. I’m saving up for one, or college...I’m not sure which one yet. I don’t really want to do the college thing but my brother is pushing me in that direction. I know my parents would be on cloud nine if both of their kids went to college.”

Okay, that was more than he needed to know. It was a yes or no answer.

Tanis was quiet for a moment; he looked overly contemplative. “Your boyfriend will not assist with getting you a vehicle or college funds?” he asked.

“Huh?”

Tanis’ brow furrowed. “Yahto. He has not offered to help with either?”

“Yahto?” I choked then laughed hysterically. “Oh, that’s funny.”

“I do not understand,” he said.

“Yahto is my best friend. He’s like a brother to me. Besides, he has a scary girlfriend who doesn’t like me, or how close our relationship is. Chicks,” I huffed and shrugged, “they aren’t worth the effort or drama.”

That made Tanis laugh, loudly, and it startled me. “You are a cheeky bird.”

“I have moments,” I dryly agreed, not entirely sure if he was referring to my sense of humor or my round ass, either way, I couldn’t argue with him. “Turn in here,” I said and continued to play with the controls on the dash; I really liked his SUV. “If you ever need the fluids changed I’d be happy to do it for you.” I forced a smile and started to shrug out of his jacket.

“Keep it,” Tanis automatically said, so I did without complaint which wasn’t like me at all. “You work here?” he asked disgustedly, which I found offensive. “You are a cashier?” he asked, hopeful.

“No. I’m a mechanic. I’m really good at taking shit apart and putting it back together. Jarvis says that I could get into M.I.T. easily and study robotics and shit. Personally, I just like playing in the grease. Thanks for the ride and I’ll return your jacket tomorrow.”

He nodded. “Miss Jay Dee, may I ask you something without you getting mad as a box of frogs and stomp on me?” he asked when I started to get out.

“Depends,” I said guardedly.

“Are you skint?” he asked.

I cocked an eyebrow, not entirely sure what that meant.

Is that like a British version of a skank?

“Poor,” he clarified.

Compared to him, yes. Compared to other Lhaq'temish, no.

“We’re working class,” I said. “Do we have hundred-thousand-dollar SUVs? No. My mom drives a newer Subaru and Dad drives a truck with as much rust on it as paint, but he loves it so I keep it running. We have a nice house, nicer than most, but it isn’t ostentatious. I have my own bathroom and that’s more than most people have. Do I wish we had more money? Sure, who doesn’t? But what would I spend it on? I’d never buy a brand new car because it’s frivolous to spend money like that. I got a laptop last year for my birthday...sure it weighs more than most newborns and is more than two inches thick when closed, but it works and serves its purpose. I’m content with what I have,” I assured him.

Damn it, again that was a yes or no answer and I turned it into a damn essay portion on a college application.

“Why do you ask?” I reluctantly asked.

“I do not know,” he admitted and looked at his watch. “Lunch will be over soon,” he absently said.

That was my cue to get out.

“Sorry, thanks again,” I said.

“Think nothing of it,” he replied and forced a halfhearted smile, and drove away once the door was closed.

What a strange vampire and an even stranger boy.